Cover photo for Russell G. Rideout's Obituary
Russell G. Rideout Profile Photo
1962 Rusty Rideout 2024

Russell G. Rideout

February 23, 1962 — February 14, 2024


There are a few lessons you can learn from Rusty Rideout. First, never throw away your favorite

sweatshirt, even if it has more holes than a golf course. Second, there’s never a bad day to go

fishing, even if you’re in the hospital. And third, never give up, even though your body has.

Rusty Rideout’s will to live continued until the day he died. Which was, of course, on Valentine’s

Day. He will always have the last laugh.

Russell Gerard Rideout was born on February 23, 1962 to Don and Dorothy (Christiaens)

Rideout. He joined an already rambunctious household with six older siblings. They would later

welcome the eighth child, Jennifer, into the family. She was there for him until the end.

But Rusty’s story begins right next to the Catholic Church in Valier, Montana with a group of

boys known for causing chaos. There’s Hairbear, Worm, Skinny, you get the picture. And if you

want us to paint it for you, the boys played baseball on the west side of the church. But a

competitive spirit can create a careless outcome and a neighbor eventually built a backstop and

bases to keep the ball from going through his windows. So Rusty did what no one else could do

and hit the church instead. It was a home run.

Rusty occasionally struck out in school though. He was often detained in the principal’s office to

make sure he’d at least try to do his homework. This was a situation enforced by Dorothy, who

was a drill sergeant in a past life. But the loyalty you find in the military is what Rusty had for his

mother. He would do anything for Dorothy whether that was moving to Chester to help care for

her, or illegally digging a rock out of a ditch along the road at dusk because she thought it would

look good in the yard. And yes, the state trooper who stopped to check on them helped Rusty

carry the rock to the car.

And speaking of yards, Rusty’s was beautiful, so much so the Chester Garden Club asked him to

join. His flowers were vibrant, his greenhouse was overflowing, and his campfire was bright, not

in the evening, but at 4 a.m. where he could smoke a cigarette, drink his fifth cup of coffee, and

enjoy a peace that often evaded him.

Rusty wore many hats (Green Bay Packer hats that is) in life ranging from working at the grain

elevator to pouring concrete and building shops to janitorial work. His tenure at Valier Public

Schools will be remembered by the students who stopped by his office for coffee and the latest

in school gossip and the kids he helped coach in golf, basketball, and football.

Arguably the best role Rusty played in life was uncle. Because Dorothy lived in Chester, Rusty

often hauled carloads of kids to and from the Hi-Line. That included a stop at the gas station on

the way down for a Pepsi and a snack, and dinner at Pizza Hut on the way back.

If your nieces and nephews fondly remember you threatening to light them on fire by flicking

your lighter at their legs, then you’ve achieved god-like uncle status. And let’s not forget his

talent of putting the lit end of a Marlboro Red into his mouth and blowing the smoke through

the cigarette and out the filter.

Other talents include a decent golf game, a mean goulash, and perfect one-liners to shut down

the five sisters who had the innate ability to get on his nerves.

There are a few ways to remember Rusty Rideout. The next time you have deviled eggs or

homemade pizza, just know it’s not going to be as good as Rusty’s. If you’re out fishing and

making catch after catch, just know Rusty was never that lucky. And if you’re at the end of your

rope and struggling with life’s curveballs, just keep going because Rusty would.

Rusty is survived by his brother, Maury (Linda) Rideout of Valier, his brother-in-law Mike

Durnell of Valier, his sisters, Debbie Rideout of Missoula, Leslie (Steve) Nelson of Valier, Anne

(Clayton) McAlpine of Valier, Jennifer Rideout of Chester, and sister-in-law Annie Rideout of

Shelby, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

In the end, Rusty kept his faith and a Sacred Heart medal tucked safely into his sock to ensure

an easy reunion with the loved ones who were waiting for him.

They include his parents Don and Dorothy, siblings Deanna Durnell and Randy Rideout, and

brother-in-law Joseph North.

Services will be at St. Francis Catholic Church in Valier. The rosary is Wednesday, Feb. 21 at 7

p.m. followed by a funeral mass on Thursday, Feb. 22 at 11 a.m. with a reception to follow. Burial

will take place at Lakeview Cemetery in Valier.

In lieu of flowers, please bring a pack of cigarettes...(we’re joking).

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Russell G. Rideout, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Rosary & Vigil Service

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Starts at 7:00 pm (Mountain time)

St. Francis Catholic Church

616 4th Street, Valier, MT 59486

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Mass

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Starts at 11:00 am (Mountain time)

St. Francis Catholic Church

616 4th Street, Valier, MT 59486

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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